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Man slapped taxi driver three times and spat in his face in ‘nasty’ assault, court told

Demostene Braescu (38), of Rowan House, Mespil Estate, Sussex Road, Dublin 4, at Dublin District Court where he was charged with assault and public order offences. Photo: Collins Courts


A drunken taxi passenger slapped the driver three times and spat in his face in a “nasty” assault in a garda station.

Demostene Braescu (38) attacked the cabbie in front of gardaí after he was brought to the station in a dispute over the payment of a €15 fare.

Judge John Brennan said the assault was “intolerable” and ordered Braescu to carry out 100 hours of community service instead of a four-month prison sentence.

The accused, of Rowan House, Mespil Estate, Sussex Road, Dublin 4 pleaded guilty to assault, non-payment of a fare, threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and public intoxication.

Garda Catherine Prenderville said she was on duty at Fitzgibbon Street station at 8.15pm on October 24 last year when there was a report of an unpaid fare.

The accused was in the station when he slapped the taxi driver twice in the face and spat in his face in front of the garda.

He slapped the cabbie again and verbally abused and threatened him while slurring his words and stumbling.

Braescu had been intoxicated and there was a dispute over whether he had paid the fare or not, his solicitor Stephen O’Mahony said.

The driver, fearing non-payment, brought him to the garda station. Mr O’Mahony said CCTV showed the victim “marched” the accused into the station, and it looked like the two then had “a good row.”

Braescu accepted his behaviour was totally inappropriate and wrong, and that he acted in a “reprehensible manner”.

The accused, who was qualified in IT was usually a very quietly-spoken and non-aggressive person, Mr O’Mahony said. The fare was since paid.

Judge Brennan said it was a “nasty incident” where the accused struck the driver with “not one or two but three slaps” and spat at him.

Slapping and spitting was “intolerable” but the fact that it was done in a garda station meant it was “clearly impulsive”, the judge said.

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